Fw: Tough life of a sailor in 1828

The Costas (uffda@sonic.net)
Mon, 3 May 1999 17:45:39 -0700

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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>I loved Two Years Before the Mast. The tough day to
>day life of the sailors of that time was of particular
>interest. I hope to post a review of it sometime
>- Scott


I don't know, after all they were fed steaks, and more steaks, and more...
It seems that a byproduct of hide production is an over abundance of meat so
it was given away. If a sailor wanted fresh vegetables he would have to
take some of the money that he brought with him and buy them.

In '67 I was stationed on a couple of little radio sites in Thailand. On
the first, (in the north-east) our cooks were a couple of radio techs that
decided they were more cut out for the culinary trades. Due to their
treatment of any and all cuts of meat that came their way, I quickly became
a vegetarian. I assumed the problem was that the Army was still trying to
get rid of an over supply of meat that came about by the fazing out of the
horse cavalry, but my next duty assignment changed that opinion.

After six months (and an altercation with a Sergeant) I was transferred to a
second site (in south-west Thailand). I arrived on the day that the base
was having a "beach B-B-Q" and was greeted by the aroma of steaks grilling
over an outdoor fire. It seems that the Army made a mistake and assigned a
professionally trained cook as a mess sergeant. I quickly gave up my vows
of veggisum and gained 20 lbs. Not only did he grill the best steaks I have
ever had, but he was also a great barterer. On many occasions he took a
truck downtown loaded with stuff we didn't want and came back with the
makings for a feast. Some times I didn't know what it was I was eating, but
didn't care as it all tasted good. I asked him why the big difference
between the two messhalls. His answer was "imagination" and that he loved
to cook.

So to all you sailors out there outfitting your boats for those long trips,
remember to bring along a cook that has imagination and loves to cook (even
if that happens to be you!)